New Lions GM Ed Hervey blames Maas (and media) for accessibility issues in Edmonton

Ed Hervey’s explanation for the media access issues during his tenure with the Edmonton Eskimos: they were Jason Maas’ fault. And the media’s.

Hervey was introduced as the Lions general manager on Thursday and the very first question he was asked dealt with media relations during his stint with the Eskimos. Edmonton abruptly closed their locker-room to reporters in 2014, breaking with longstanding tradition, and the CFL fined the team $20,000 and Maas $15,000 after Maas and quarterback Mike Reilly refused to wear live microphones during a game against the Montreal Alouettes.

Local media complained almost constantly about Hervey’s lack of availability on issues big and small and Edmonton CEO Len Rhodes also cited “resistance to provide access” as one of the main reasons for his shocking decision to fire Hervey last April.

But Hervey’s version of events lays much of the blame at Maas’ feet.

“First of all, those are misleading,” Hervey said of allegations that he wasn’t media-friendly. “The locker room has always been the coach’s decision. It will always be the coach’s decision and it was supported by the organization.

“As far as this media market here… guys, I want everyone to understand. I am a very friendly person. I am an introvert. I don’t do a whole lot of talking, I let the coaches and players do the talking. I don’t live for the limelight.

“I’m excited about building winners. That’s what we’re here for. We want more people in the stands. I’m not here to deny anyone access to the players. I never did that, nor will I ever. I don’t deny them access to the coaches. Never did that, or will I ever.”

Hervey did acknowledge, however, that he wasn’t particularly accessible during his time in Edmonton and that was largely by design.

“I just didn’t do a lot of talking because I didn’t want to be the front man for a football team, I just wanted to lay in the weeds and do the work,” Hervey said. “I think that was the misunderstanding for some in Edmonton because they felt that I should give them everything out the back door. I just wanted to win football games and not get caught up in back story sources. That’s all.”

Wally Buono, the man who hired Hervey and will remain as head coach for one more season, certainly seems to have accepted Hervey’s explanation for how things went down in Edmonton.

“Ed took the bullet. Why is that? Because when you’re the leader, you take the bullets, you don’t expose your people to the bullets. He’s going to do what the coach wants him to do,” Buono said. “Guys, I’m going to suggest to him the locker room is open. Why? I understand our situation. We’ve always been media friendly, sometimes to our detriment. That’s not changing.”

Fans and media, from time to time, want to hear from the team’s general manager about decision’s he’s made. While Hervey may be able to get away with shoving Buono in front of the microphones for another year – Wally is as media-friendly as they come and understands the symbiotic nature of the relationship between media and the CFL – he will need to make himself more available this time around if the Lions have any hope of regaining their relevance in the Vancouver sports market.

Or this…

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1193 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

31 Comments on New Lions GM Ed Hervey blames Maas (and media) for accessibility issues in Edmonton

  1. Hahaha…he’s had more than one head coach! The option is the Head Coaches…Gm is to support and empower the Head Coach! Too many in the media like to start shit like the headline on this one. Jones also had a closed Lockerroom Calgary still does…

  2. Maas the GM killer?

  3. Naylor shouldn’t tell GMs or coaches how to do their jobs and likewise, I shouldn’t tell journalists (I use the term loosely) how to do their jobs lol.

  4. theonlydispassionateriderfan // November 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm //

    Hervey is better at tossing people under the bus than Marquay McDaniel.

    • Why, because he said closing the locker room is and will always be the coaches decision? Try reading more than just the headline.

  5. Overall good work by Wally and the Lions.
    Hervey won a Grey Cup in Edmonton and is a smart football man.

    • Agreed. Good to see Ed land back on his feet. Wally chose well!

      • BleedsGreen // December 3, 2017 at 4:12 pm //

        The media is a fraternity that communicate closely with each other. Hervey was the root of the problem in Edmonton, he empowered Maas and role modelled some unacceptable behaviours. Threre are many legitimate incidents that happened. Watch carefully now, his girlfriend will be spinning social media bs the first time Wally and Ed have a difference of opinion. Bad hire Wally, hope it doesn’t taint your legacy of one of the greatest in the CFL ever.

  6. It doesn’t sound like the author even listened to the press conference. Hervey didn’t suggest Maas was to blame. Heck, Maas wasn’t even the coach until 2016.

  7. If that is the policy, the Edmonton Eskimos should open their doors to the media just like every other CFL team. I never did respect Jason Maas for his attempt to deceive TSN and the league of faulty headphones, plus his infamous temper tantrums on the sideline. Maybe it’s time for a new head coach as well.

    • Hervey was subtly referring to Chris Jones (2014-2015), not Jason Maas (2016).

      • greenrider89 // November 30, 2017 at 8:52 pm //

        Please inform where you get that reference from insider.

        • I listened to the press conference, the author must not have. Hervey didn’t place any blame on Maas or refer to him. The locker media access crap all happened when Chris Jones was HC. Hervey indicated his policy was to have those concerns handled by the coach.

          • riderontheisland // December 1, 2017 at 2:10 pm //

            I don’t know about that because the issue has increased since Maas has been there.

          • The issue here is what Hervey actually said at the press conference.

            Outside of that you may not like Maas but he is, and has always been, more media friendly than Chris Jones. Hervey had a tough time getting Jones to talk to media and allow them access to the locker room, to get the team out of the dressing room for the national anthem at games, to shake hands with opposing teams HC after games, to allow players to get out into the community for charitable functions, etc. None of these issues were ever a concern with Maas. He has been an Eskimo “team player” for a lot of years but does wear his heart on his sleeve.

        • riderontheisland // December 1, 2017 at 3:50 pm //

          sooo the not wearing pink and QB mic’d happened after Jones left and since when does the HC run the show?

          • You’re still off topic. I’m not getting into this trivial stuff. Maas has explained his actions to the media before. You can pick and choose whatever you want to believe. Eskimo fans much prefer Maas over Jones and miss Hervey even though Sunderland has done a credible job in his rookie year.

  8. Edward Leslie // November 30, 2017 at 6:03 pm //

    Hervey led the Eskimos to the Grey Cup and he had a reputation, even before becoming their G.M., as a guy who finds talent (Derel Walker, JC Sherritt, Aaron Grymes, etc). Plus he made the smart turning point moves of getting rid of Kavis Reed and trading for Mike Reilly.
    Having said all that, he’s not the warmest guy. He gives the impression that he’d rather get a root canal than give an interview. And if he’s just being supportive of his co-workers, why throw Maas and Eric Tillman under the bus after the fact? He should just say “I’ll try and be more accessible than in the past” and leave it at that.

    • Well, it’s not like Wally is Mr. Warm and Cuddly.

    • Jason Gult // November 30, 2017 at 6:51 pm //

      Let’s also remember these guys are trying to make a bigger career for themselves considering it is for the CFL and not the NFL.

      They blow things up to get more attention.

    • Edward Leslie,
      “And if he’s just being supportive of his co-workers, why throw Maas and Eric Tillman under the bus after the fact?”

      ???
      Did you even listen to the press conference? I wonder if the author even did. His facts are all wrong.

  9. pantsonfire // December 1, 2017 at 9:26 am //

    Got the wrong guy here, Drew. Jones in the end before his departure was hardly speaking with Hervey. There were all sorts of issues Jones’ 1st year in Edmonton, most notably not allowing the players to miss a practice to partake in “Magic Monday”, an annual outing with special needs kids aged 3-12 to K-Days. The players had done this for almost 40 years. This was Jones but Ed went along with it. The refusal to shake hands after games with opposing coaches, thrice holding back the club from taking the field till after the National anthem was Jones. These things were ended by the club in Jones 2nd year. Jones has learnt as he went on but let’s not forget the issues in year 1 of his GM tenure in Regina. No one was fined more for CFL violations than Jones. Maas is an easy target but Hervey did not mention him.

  10. Very obvious this guys all about adding his two cents in and is not even getting all the facts straight. As stated by many and I listened to that press conference 3 times. Maas name was never mentioned or any names in fact. Jones was there before and longer them
    Maas. In fact the whole reassurance of not dismantling a team was a dig at Jones

  11. This author is a idiot

  12. The only mistake Hervey made in Edmonton was the same one Craig Reynolds made in Regina. If you get what I mean.

  13. Habsnriders // December 2, 2017 at 12:02 pm //

    I love these butt hurt Edmonton fans still bashing Jones because he left to go to a team that offered him total control . Before he left they loved him . He turned a very poor team around and won a grey cup , how about thanking him for that .

  14. Habsnriders; I’m not a disgrundled Eskimo fan. I’m from Saskatchewan, born, raised and still here in retirement.

  15. Mr. ED is off to a bad start with BC and the CFL with this type attitude. He sure as heck better look in the mirror and accept responsibility for what happened in Edmonton. He cost them some $$$ by his behavior several times. If anything close to what happened in Edmonton happens again in BC his tenure will be a short one I am sure.

  16. What attitude? I gather you didn’t listen to the news conference or read the comments here?

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